Some letting agents act as estate agents as well so it is best to check with them if they are not sure what type of agent they are dealing with.
Full Management by Letting Agents
In the past, letting agents used to offer a limited range of services. In some cases, they would provide nothing more than a contract and a property brochure to potential tenants. However, that is no longer the case.
Nowadays, agents can offer full management services for their clients. They would assist in finding tenants and handling all the practicalities of renting a property.
This new service is an attractive prospect for both landlords and tenants alike as it offers a higher level of convenience and expertise when compared to managing properties on their own or via third parties such as Craigslist or Gumtree.
Other Services Offered by Letting Agents
In recent years, letting agents have been offering a wider range of services to their clients. In the past, all they did was offer their service to landlords and tenants. However, since then, letting agents have been expanding their scope and now offer a range of other services to help people find a home.
Aside from finding a home for landlords and tenants, letting agents can also help tenants find a council property or provide council services that are not provided by the council. The other services that they offer include legal advice if tenants intend to move out from their rental property or if there is any dispute between the tenant and the landlord.
What Letting Agents Aren’t Responsible For
It's important to note that these are not all the duties of a letting agent, but these are some of the less common ones.
Letting agents don't need to do any painting or decorating in the house as long as the property is move-in ready. If there's any time after it's been rented out and you need those things done, then it becomes your responsibility from then on out.
They're also not responsible for problems with gas or electricity unless they were responsible for installing those fixtures themselves. This is something you should check with them before signing a contract or renting a property if you don't want to be responsible for those things going forward.
Fees of Letting Agents
In order to have a more competitive edge, some landlords have been trying to include letting agent fees in the rent. This has been a common practice in London as it is one of the most competitive rental markets. The majority of letting agents charge their clients an agency fee for their services, which is usually calculated as a percentage of the annual rent.
This fee covers services such as advertising for potential tenants, vetting potential tenants and drawing up contracts with them, dealing with any queries from tenants, arranging inventories and managing the property throughout the tenancy agreement.
A lot of landlords are choosing to do without a letting agent and go it alone, but this can be risky for two reasons: firstly, there is the risk that the landlord won’t find anyone suitable to live in their property, which means they will have wasted time and money on advertising and showing their property; secondly, they will not be able to take advantage of the full range of services offered by letting agents. For landlords, it is important to try and work with a letting agent to see what they can offer for you.
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